Predictors of Invasion and Axillary Lymph Node Metastasis in Patients with a Core Biopsy Diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ: An Analysis of 255 Cases


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Venetia Sarode, MD, Department of pathology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical center, 5323 Harry Hines blvd, Dallas, TX 75390-9073, USA, or e-mail:


Abstract:  The diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) using core biopsy does not ensure the absence of invasion on final excision. We performed a retrospective analysis of 255 patients with DCIS who had subsequent excision. Clinical, radiologic, and pathologic findings were correlated with risk of invasion and sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastasis. Of 255 patients with DCIS, 199 had definitive surgery and 52 (26%) had invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) on final excision. Extent of abnormal microcalcification on mammography, and presence of a radiologic/palpable mass and solid type of DCIS were significantly associated with invasion on final excision. Sentinel lymph node biopsy was performed in 131 (65.8%) patients of whom 18 (13.4%) had metastasis. Size of IDC and extent of DCIS on final pathology were significantly associated with positive SLN. Micrometastasis and isolated tumor cells comprised majority (71.4%) of the metastases in DCIS. SLN biopsy should be considered in those with high risk DCIS.